The Christmas Surprise

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Two weeks. I made it two more whole weeks. I had just under two days left until my C-section to finally get these big boys out of me. Honestly every waking moment was starting to feel like torture. I was constantly cranky because I was hurting all over, especially in my back.

Usually I loved Christmas, but that morning I felt awful. I'd been having contractions on and off, on and off, for the past week. I begged Doctor Andrews at my last appointment if we could move up my delivery date, but she insisted we wait until the twenty-seventh.

I moaned and let out a yawn. I finally got a good night's sleep, but my back was still killing me and I hated everything.

I didn't want to leave my bed for anything until it was time to go to the hospital, but there were footsteps coming up the stairs, then down the hallway, and to my bedroom door, which flew open. I pulled the covers over my head.

"Come on, Chrys! I've been waiting for hours to open presents!" Poppy said, yanking the covers off me.

"Get out of my room!" I yelled back.

"Fine! Be that way! You're so moody!"

She rolled her eyes, walked out of my room, and slammed the door. I forced myself out of bed, into a pair of sweats, and downstairs. Every step was killing me. Another contraction hit right as I was at the bottom of the stairs. I winced and breathed through it. How was I possibly going to make it through two more days?

I walked into the living room, where once again, Mom pulled off Christmas on a low budget. The tree was surrounded by presents up to our knees. I imagined every clearance rack at Target emptied out.

"Have a seat, Momma," Mom said, patting the couch.

As soon as I sat down, Poppy tore into her presents. I opened my first one, which was soft. I ripped the paper open. It was a cool new purple purse.

"Originally eighty. Got it for fifteen," Mom said.

"Thanks. I like it!" I said.

We opened the rest of the presents and overall, I liked everything I got. I was never picky, though. Mom was doing the best she could. Plus, after having a baby shower at home and another one at work, on top of the gifts I got from the gender reveal, I had enough stuff for the boys. Everything was mostly for me.

I got a nice new laptop for my college classes, along with a dress and shoes to wear to Julia's wedding in April. Mom also threw in a few new shirts. I gained sixty pounds with this pregnancy, and even after the boys were out I probably wouldn't fit into my old clothes.

Poppy got me some makeup and this cool speaker I'd had my eyes on since before I was even pregnant. I was hoping I could use it to play calming sounds to help the boys sleep.

After suffering through presents, I sat at the table, fidgeting and trying to get comfortable as Mom made us her classic Christmas morning sticky buns. I forced myself to eat and got a text while I was at the table. I threw away my sticky bun, went upstairs to change, then grabbed my car keys.

"Hey, where do you think you're going?" Mom asked as I reached for the door.

"To see Jace."

"What? Why?"

"Because the father of your grandkids sent me a text. He wants me to come over and spend time with him, since it's Christmas. It sounds like he's got presents for me."

"Okay, well hurry back. You can't miss the annual—"

"Cookies for lunch while watching all the cartoon Christmas specials. Don't worry. I wouldn't miss it for the world," I said, closing the door.

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